764 – Case of the Hickory Hangout | Big Farm in the Sky P.I. S2 E8
A sleepy pop up will be the place you walk in tonight's dreams.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends beyond the binary, and my patrons. Thanks for keeping the show going, patron. Couldn't do it without you. Let's get on with the show. Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights and press play. We'll do the rest.
What I'm going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you can set aside whatever's keeping you awake. You know, if it's things you're thinking about from the past, present or future, things on your mind, you know, rumination-type stuff. Hopefully, not any runes that you're translating. This is the newest rule for the podcast; no runes in bed. Also, I'll try to decipher what that is. That was an accidental pun too.
You know, what can go in your bed? Accidental puns. I mean, especially like, whether you're alone or with somebody, nothing says fun like an accidental pun. Now available for free. Accidental puns, they're always free. Accidental pun shop. Everywhere, where people are accidentally funny by just being themselves, like Scoots.
What was I saying now? Oh, create a safe place where you can set aside whatever you're thinking about. Especially, like, if you're trying to come up with puns on purpose. That takes a lot of work. I think a already proposed this as a book title, but “Accidental Punist” If that's not a book title, I just legally reserved it for all … You know, hopefully.
This is not a joke, and I already have gone way off-topic early, but the other day I was writing out ideas for the podcast and I thought of a idea for the Accidental Tourist Two. I don't think it was the Accidental Punist. It was something else, and actually, i don't know if I wrote it down or I said, “Hm.” Then, I said, “Probably not, Scoots. You didn't write Accidental Tourist.” I said, “You're right, moving on.”
Okay, so stuff you're thinking about, stuff you're feeling. Could be emotions coming up related to your thoughts or just in general. You know, we just have feelings, or physical sensations. Any of those things, anything else that could be affecting your sleep in the present, past or future. Whatever it is I'd like to take your mind off of it.
What I'm going to do is, I'm going to be here for over an hour. If you need me, back-to-back episodes all night long. I'm going to send my voice across the deep, dark night. I'm going to use a lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders. I think you're just going to two or three pointless meanders really early in the show, so if you're new you're … Depending on your definition of a treat, which would probably be a wide definition in this case …
Except, you know, in some countries they say it's a treat, like, it means different things. Oh, no. My translation brings it. It means kind of the same thing. Okay, well it works a treat. That's what some people say in the UK about this podcast. My critical brain's disagreeing with me, even though it's a fact. Okay, but I understand that I went off-topic. Okay.
What was I saying? Oh, sound of my voice … Oh, pointless meanders. That was weird. I said pointless meanders, then I went on a pointless meander. Superfluous tangents, and a whole lot of other stuff. What I'm going to really do is keep you company as you drift off into sleep. Take your mind off of stuff, and as you drift into the arms of Morpheus, maybe sometimes, also I'll use words in more than one, the same context more than one time, or slightly different context.
If you're new, glad you're here. A couple of things to get you. This podcast is a little bit different, or a lot bit different, even than other sleep solutions, because this is more of a friendly banter where I'm here to keep you company, and take your mind off stuff. I think I covered that.
Structurally, what to expect, show starts off with a few minutes of business. Thanks for listening to that. That's how we keep the show free. Then, there's the intro, which we're in. Intro, it doesn't make a lot of sense, and it's hard to make sense of, but for a lot of listeners it's a wind-down. For a small percentage of listeners, they skip it. For a small percentage of listeners, they fall asleep during it. Another percentage of listeners listen during the day to calm down.
With the intros, like, about 12 minutes of me, I guess rambling just like I am now, where I'm trying to … I think this is oblique. I'd say, what are the opening lines of the Accidental Punist, Scoots? Something-something accidentally oblique. Those are two of the opening words, but not the most opening words. They're part of the opening sentence. Because, when I try, when I'm doing the intro I try to explain what the podcast is right up front, like I am now, but then I just naturally go off-topic, and that's what puts people to sleep, or helps you wind down.
The intro's a show, it's a part of the podcast. It's an intro. Just a long and meandering, but it's chock full of meanders. The Accidental Meanderist. That would be one of my many autobiographies. Maybe somebody else could write that. You're right. Well, maybe one of the imaginary beings within my brain could get to work and actually do something, hint-hint-hint. No, you're just … Okay, now you're pulling a Statler and Waldorf, or whatever their names are. Statler and Waldorf?
What if Worf, who hung out with Statler and Waldorf … Those are the critics on The Muppet Show. I think it could go either way, like, Worf could sit with them, and get along, and be laughing, or it could be, you know, they could meet the wrong side of a Klingon. That was actually a tingler I wrote, The Wrong Side of a Klingon. Okay, enough about me.
That's the intro of the show, I guess was what I was saying. Then, there will be a little business between the intro and the story. Then, tonight will be our episodically modular series, Big Farm in the PI, Big Farm in the Sky PI, Season Two, The Phantom Minnow Season. Yeah, then we have some thank-yous and good-nights at the end. If you ever want to skip the ads and the thank-yous and stuff, you just become a five-dollar and up patron.
That's the structure of the show. Then, a couple of rules around the show, including that new rule that we just came up with. You don't need to listen to this podcast. You can just barely pay attention, or you can listen. There's a lot of people that listen. I mean, like, collectively. Percentage-wise, yeah, most people fall asleep, but I'm here to the end to keep you company, because there is no pressure to fall asleep. I'm here. You could run episode after episode.
If you can't sleep, I'll be here, really, to barely entertain here, but to be here, right? You know, I got a whole story coming up about pop-up shops in a retirement community. Oh, boy. Talk about action. It won't be action-packed. Like I said, whatever other joke I made about the chock full of meander pact, that'll be like the commitment. If we ever form a group, you'll have to sign the meander pact. We'll have join Scoots's club, where everybody goes out and tells bedtime stories and helps one another, treats people with dignity, respect and kindness. Have to sign the meander pact.
What's the meander pact? Well, let me tell you about it, actually. Have a seat. First off, before we get to the meander pact, did you know the Sleep With Me podcast there's no pressure to fall asleep, and no pressure to listen? He's there around an hour. Well, I thought you were going to tell me about the meander pact.
Oh, yeah. Also, another thing I was thinking of was Scoots's famous rule that he came up with in 2019, that no runes in bed. Of course, Scoots always was someone that mixed up R-U-N-E-S's and R-U-I-N-S's, and even when he said it, it always kind of ran together, but we all knew what he meant, kind of. You know, take that Rosetta Stone, put it in the other fricking room. Like, we don't need it in the bedroom. You know, no rune-covered sarcophagi, or tablets, or even … You know, you say, “Who gave you a rune …” Say, “Well, my dear. This pillow is rune-covered. I have a rune-based pillow case.”
Okay, sorry. I don't want any runes in my bedroom, period. A pillow case, even bedding-based runes, or rune-based bedding. It hasn't been deciphered. I'll be thinking about … You know, just keep the runes in other … Why don't you keep it in that room we use for all that stuff? The solarium? No, no. That's the room for the plants. The observatory? No, that's the room for the telescopes.
It's the other one, like, that has those in there. Oh, the room with … Oh, all the other stuff in there. Right, all the other rune … The runarium. Oh, I thought that was the room where Scoots pretended he was any of the famous Rooneys. Well, that too. That's why it's called the runarium. It's for runes and rune … You know, yeah. That's the same room. Okay, I'll take all my runes out and put them in there. Okay, great, and then you can come back to bed after that.
Again, I'm sorry. I don't have a lot of rules here. You know, no listening needed. No need to pay attention, no pressure to fall asleep. You know, keep a runes and other things. Like we said, those compasses or whatever the heck you had when you were in middle school. Even protractors. Sorry, I don't know what a protractor and a compass have to do with runes. Oh, no. I'm just out in the middle of a tangent, because I signed the meander pact.
Oh, sorry. I was just trying to tell you what a meander pact was. Are you sure that was a meander pact, or in the middle of that meander did you forget what it was? Yeah, I got to go. I'm going to turn it back over to Scoots. Thanks, that's a great meander, by the way. Classic. Also, you're right. No runes in bed. I can hear the few people in the world that have rune-based professions, and I'd say it's bedtime. You know, time to take a break-y-poo. You say, “Well, no, I'm an amateur runist,” and I'd say, “Okay, I'll make an exception for you if I could come observe you doing your amateur runeing. Are you writing runes, or are you reading runes?
Someone just in my brain, they said, “I'm scuplting runes,” and I'd say that's awesome, but do your sculpting as part of your wind-down. You probably shouldn't be sculpting in bed. Well, okay. I'm not one to … You're right, you may be able to sculpt in bed. Maybe just sculpt in your room. You really sculpt the runes, eh? I think if I was a hip-hopper I would work that into one of my … You know, I sculpt rhymes like I sculpt runes, and I really do. When I do, you know, the something-something swoons, when I'm sculpting runes. That was the B-side, Sculpting Runes it was called. In parentheses you put ruins, because it was one of my ones for when I was doing, like, freestyle stuff. Also, that was all imaginary.
Anyway, going to get back to here. If you're new, this is a pretty good intro, because this is what the rest of the show's going to be like. Just more story-based, teetering on thousands of meanders. Really, it's a friendly show to take your mind off of stuff, and to keep you company either while you fall asleep, or while you're in bed. You know, if you can't sleep I'm your bore-friend, I'm your bore-bae, I'm your bore-cuz, I'm your bore-sib, your bore-bestie, if I could apply to be that. If we're in the San Diego region, your bore-bruh.
I'm here to help. That's the main thing, because I've been there. Now, if you're listening give it a few tries. I mean, there's a lot of people that listen to this podcast, and almost all of them say, “Hey, it took two or three tries before it worked for me, or before I realized that there's no figuring this thing out.” Because, when he sculpted runes, it more looks like someone just made a oblong clay … It's not a ball, but that's what his runes look like. He's the one that ruined runes for me. I was an amateur runist until I heard his tangents about runes, and then it was ruined.
I do delight in words, by the way. Sorry, not runes, but words I do. Is any restaurants based … The Runes restaurant. Yeah, you're right, it won't work. It's a easy one. Restaurant Ruined, you wouldn't want to eat there. You could say, “That's the last place I ate.” What makes me laugh? I don't know. I'm glad you're here. I hope you didn't pick that up in the tone of my voice. I'd really like to help. If the podcast, you gave it two or three tries and it doesn't work for you, or you're listening right now and you're like, you're using other words about rune or ruin about me, that's okay. It's not for everybody. Check out sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou for some other options.
I really do hope this podcast helps, that it can take some of the seriousness out of bedtime, bring you some levity. Oh, some part of my brain just said I'm sculpting a levity-based rune, and I say, “Terrific.” In the runarium, and so I'm glad you're here. I really work hard. I strive and I yearn to help you fall asleep, and thanks so much for coming by.
Here are just a couple of ways we keep the show going. Hey, everybody. Welcome to our ongoing episodically modular series, Big Farm in the Sky PI, Season Two, Phantom Minnow Season. If you're new, what I mean by episodically modular is, this is a series that you can listen to in any order. I'll give you all the information right now so you have it, so you could just cuddle in. If you're a completist you can complete them in any order.
I think the first two episodes of the season were a two-parter. Even those, there's enough setup in the beginning. Like, you say, “Well, I've listened to the episode two, and then I listened to the prequel.” Yeah, welcome to Big Farm in the Sky PI. I'm Scoots, and part of the story, but three characters that are, are Simon, DK and G. Simon is an uncle of G, and kind of an uncle of DK indirectly. Simon is a post-Earthly resident. Simon was a earthly resident. Simon was once a earthbound human, just like us, I'm presuming. If any non-earth, you know …
Say, “Well, I'm from actually Pluto Z,” and I say, “Hold on. Is there another solar system where people actually respect Pluto enough?” Can we call it [Zuto 00:17:06]? Great idea. Well, I just renamed a planet of new podcast fans. The Pluto, the podcast planet just sounds pretty good too. So, where was I?
Oh, so Simon once lived on Earth as a human. Then, Simon's life transitioned to the big farm life. Some of you may have had pets where you say, “Where did Sandy go?” Well, Sandy now lives in the big farm in the sky. Sometimes, parents just say, “Well, we dropped Sandy off at a farm.” Sandy's like Lassie, by the way. Yeah, so we dropped Sandy off. Sandy lives at the farm now. Then, as you got older they said, “Well, it was really the big farm in the sky.”
Simon lives there. Again, I don't know how you qualify for what post-Earthly live … I got no info on that. I just know that Simon transitioned from Earth to the big farm. The big farm seems to be not all good or all bad, like Heaven or Heck, but also not all neutral like those Limbo and all those things. Not, like, lost either. I mean, not that that's … That's not a knock on it or anything.
It just seems to be like another realm of existence, actually. I mean, there's a lot of perks. Including, for Simon. Now, not all post-Earthly residents can travel, or transverse between Earth and the big farm. Most are just at the big farm. You know, they say you cashed your check at the big farm? Now, you live in the big farm. Can't send the letters back, can't go back, but you know, as those of us that live in the Earthly realms know, people talk about big farm visitors.
For certain minuscule mathematical percentage of big farm residents, they can come back to Earth. Some can even interact and appear like Simon can. Full appearance, full discussion, full interaction. We call it, you know, C-A-S-P-E-R. Like, I think that makes sense, right? Simon is in the big farm. Let's say there's four-billion post-Earthly residents in the big farm. Out of those four-billion, maybe there's, like, 42 beings, or post-Earthly beings that can transition back to Earth. It's probably more than that, but just for the sake of mathematical efficiency.
That's a pretty low percentage. I don't know what it is. Maybe, like, 42 in four-billion or whatever, or whatever number I said. So, Simon, it's pretty rare. That's, otherwise should say, well I see post-Earthly residents all the time. Mostly say, I heard, I think. Now, G and DK, they are Earthly residents. They're tweens, they're best friends. They know and interact and love Uncle Simon.
In Season One they were helping Simon solve cases in the big farm in the sky. Simon was the big farm in the sky PI. In Season Two, G and DK, they took a sabbatical from school. A working sabbatical. Self-directed education, I think is what they call it. They told their school, “We're going to go live with DK's aunt Penny in the towns,” which is the largest retirement community in the US, and, “We're going to start our own PI business, or problem-solving business. We'll learn by doing.”
This school was forward-thinking enough, they said, “Okay, well as long as we can still count your attendance so we can qualify.” They said, “No problem. We'll log our attendance.” They said, “Fine, then. Whatever you do, like, as long as you take these tests at the end of the year too, you could do it.” They said, “Job done. Bureaucracy navigated,” and they headed off to Florida to live with Aunt Penny.
Since then, we're eight cases in, I think. That happened in any particular order. If they had been here in the towns with Uncle Simon cracking cases, and then frying them up or whatever … You know, putting them back together. Whatever you do after you crack the case. That's the season, is two tweens, just like the other great kid detectives. Really, G and DK.
I don't know if I've ever read any. You know, most of my kid detectives that I read were under tween age. They were single-digit aged kids. Maybe some were 10 or 11, but I don't consider that tween. I guess maybe it is, though, so sorry. So I could [inaudible 00:22:02]. Honestly, I got no idea how old you are, because, you know, you're so … You know, Big Nate? You know, I'd peg you at nine, though, probably. Both of you.
Like, I don't know. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, were they tweens? I don't know. I mean, that's a honest question. I don't know the answer to that. Also, I've never read any of those books. Looked at the covers before.
Okay, where were we? Introducing a show. Basically, yeah, that's it, I guess. I'm glad you're here. Also, we have a Hollywood, a wonderful, beautiful actor to introduce at the episode. Mr. Antonio Banderas, as my friend. This is, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends behind the binary … It's time to crack this case. Big Farm in the Sky PI, yeah.
Thanks, Antonio. Again, if you want to lie down, I know we haven't done it in a little while, but you know, with this new setup my bed is right there. My friend, I'm beginning to enjoy listening to your podcast to sleep. I can see why it both works, and people it takes two or three tries, because it's different.
Yeah, you were getting some love on Reddit. I don't think I checked in there, but people are … Oh, my friend. Thank you. Anyway, did I say Antonio Banderas, he's going to take a nap in a bed close by to me, and just lie there and sleep silently, of course. Not moving any creaky elbows, or rustling blankets at all. Oh, no. I'm just going to lie there. Then, we'll play munchkin later, right? Ah, yes. All right, it's Big Farm in the Sky PI. Thanks, everybody.
Hey, [Diane 00:24:01]. It's me, Simon here, and we got into … Diane, oh boy do we have a … It's a mystery, Diane, but it's a job, so it's a paid mystery investigation. You know, we did drive in a golf cart, and they called it a Mystery Machine, G and DK. Diane, a couple things. We'll have to get some vocabulary. There's party crashers, right, who are people that show up at parties without being invited. Our case is not crashing parties, but we're here. I don't know if we're a party predictor or a party finder, Diane. Maybe they'll take some other explaining.
Now, there's this thing called popups that popped up this term in the last 10 years. Maybe 12 years. Popups, now there was popup tents originally, but this is not that. I think as we become a mature thing that's no longer the case of what it once was. Originally, I believe, and in this case here a popup is a temporary thing. Like, it would originally be a popup restaurant, or a popup shop. I think now they're used a little bit more for idea testing. Where a bank, when they first were it was more of experiment testing, or just having fun. That seems to be the case in this case. We're in the middle of the case, you know, working.
G and DK are also listening to me as I recap it. Let's say you knitted caps, and other things, or you had a knitting collective. Especially if you live in a city, Diane, it works best. You say, “Oh, that building's been vacant for a while. Let me see who owns it, or releases it.” Especially over the holidays, maybe. Oh, it's still vacant. Let me see if I can lease that for four weekends leading up to the holidays.
We could popup there, and make, it sell our wares, and pay the people that own the building, or at least the building would have a little bit of income, but you would negotiate something reasonable because you're not a long-term tenant, and you know the building is vacant. Then, you don't have to do …
Now, the newer ones, they're really well-designed and stuff. You could do DIY. Oh, the Top Chef, I realize G and DK, I sometimes watch that with them. They do that with restaurant, W-A-R-S's. Those are popup restaurants, and that would be another thing. Or, a popup bakery. Like our friend says, [inaudible 00:26:57] kind of in some sense. A temporary place in a temporary location.
It's become more hyped, and I don't know what a post-modern popup will be. Eventually, after something starts, 10 or 12 years it makes its way to the towns and becomes a thing. There has been some popups here, but not as ubiquitous as is in greater urban areas. Especially the cities, you know? This one party, Diane, it's a popup party, and very similar to popup shops.
Oh, also note, right, that the popup shops that have been here haven't really worked. People did try it around the holidays, and some other things. You know, there's a famous one for the October 31st. I don't know if it's exactly a popup shop. It's similar, it just pops up. It does pop up, I guess. For the towns, people really would prefer something to have more experience with, that have a longer term relationship with, to have history.
They say, “Well, where do I return this?” That was the thing. It's just like, it was a diversion experience. As far as purchasing items, or eating at a restaurant, like, the history and the trust. This one's a party. It's different, it's a party. That's what we're pursuing, a popup party, Diane.
Yeah, G and DK, they're trying to get me, they say, “Get to the point.” I say, “Okay, what was our point?” Oh, okay, yeah. This helps them break the case, though, really. There's a party that pops up every once in a while; about once a month. Someplace in the towns, usually a vacant location, or an original location. If someone rents it out for a party, normally it won't be there unless there's something non-normal going on.
Like, a bowling alley, people rent that out for birthday parties all the time. They wouldn't have the party there unless a bowling alley had closed down. They did do that. Yeah, and I think it was going to be closed down permanently, so then they had bowl wherever you wanted. Like, I don't know. I don't know all the details of the party themes.
Yeah, they had one at a water tower. Again, there's a lot of club houses here that you can have parties at, or a pool party, so a pool side parties, or tennis parties. The popup party isn't at any of those. Yeah, if a restaurant's closed, a very similar popup shop. It'll pop up in an original location. I think that's one part of the appeal. Oh, roofs. Roof gardens. Oh, gardens, because those are a little bit more … Anyway, Diane, I think you get the idea.
Here's a couple other things you might be wondering about. These parties are free. That answers that question. They're in very high demand. People do like the food at the parties, we've heard, but the parties are hard to get into. They're exclusive, but in a interesting way. It's a regular party. Just to go over that, Diane. It pops up somewhere, it has food, it has drinks, it has music sometimes. Might have a theme sometimes. Sometimes, it won't. The only rule is positive attitude. They don't like party poopers, or people that party too much.
There's three levels of attendance at these parties, which is where it's free, and it's exclusive but not excluding totally. This is where the secretiveness of it comes in, Diane. There's the people who play in the party, which we could only assume are at the party, but we'll dig into that. Then, there's members who have been invited to the party, which is a second layer.
There's the party planners, or the club that's planning the party, we suspect. Then, there is invited guests. Apparently, you can only get invited once a year, because everything we've been able to look into. If you get invited, you get a save the date. It says, this is the date, this is the time. It usually is a general time. Then, the day of the party they find out the location.
Most of the time they get picked up. Everything is based on, if you're going to be arriving at the party you have to have a ride. Again, it goes into the exclusivity, so you're getting a ride if you're an invited guest. No one knows who invited you, but people get to the party they know people. They say, “Oh, did you invite me?” Then, they say, “Oh, no.” Usually, everybody pretends they're an invited guest, so no one knows who planned the party either.
There is role playing going on here, Diane, that we can't deny. Which is, like, everybody's having fun with this, and there's no stakes in some sense, so it's hard to tell who's telling the truth of being an invited guest, or being a party planner. They're very tight-lipped, because no one wants to lose their party privilege. Especially to become the third of guest, Diane.
Let me just go over my notes. They don't know who invited them, they have the invitation to get the ride, and to get into the party, but they're also on a list. Then, there's also, so they find out where the party is right before. Even though they're getting a ride they find out the location right before. That triggers the third level of uninvited guests. Anyone can get into this party. You just have to wait in line, Diane. Those are day-of guests.
When the people get the invite they're quickly telling their friends, and calling people, “Oh, this is where the party is.” People quickly line up, and you have to wait in line. Now, these are hired employees watching the line, so they have rules around the line that go along with the rules of the party. Be kind.
There is, unfortunately, no saving spots in line. Now, if someone's parking a car, or is going to have a wristband that says that they're in charge of getting everybody else home, those are the only ways you're allowed to get up in line to join someone. Then, the people in line, they get led into the party in groups, and then let out of the party in groups, with just enough time to enjoy themselves.
Smaller groups are led in, and they go in and enjoy the party, but then they have an identifier, like a wristband, or a necklace, or a lei, or a certain hat, or a certain smock, depending on the theme of the party. They have to leave. You get in, but then you have to go. Then, the party is either set to run a certain amount of time, or it goes until the food runs out. Which, I think, normally it always goes until the food runs out.
That's one of the hard parts is, not everybody in line always gets in. Which can be a source of frustration, but people are usually kind of having a little party in line. People have a positive thing, but you feel like, oh no, I didn't get in. I didn't get in line in time. The spots in line are very sought after, as well as finding out this whatever it is, daisy chain of where and when the party is.
It's all layers of fun, because once the dates are out, everybody's waiting that wants to go to the party, or trying to stay connected. It's really more of a fun thing. Of course, it's sought after. No one knows how to get invited, so if you get invited that's like a kind of status thing. Yeah, but you're also, like, for that party you have privileged information. It's just like a fun thing to do. Even though this is a retirement community, it's very school-age fun, I would say.
We've been hired for the first time, and this makes sense, for a client to either get them the invitation, which I'd say you got a better chance of getting a golden ticket into Willy Wonka's place, or getting a little bit of advance information for when the next parties are. Again, I think we were hired in a fun sense, because he said, “Okay, well we'll try. How's that sound, G and DK?”
Okay, so where are we start … We're just cracking the case here. Okay, you go ahead, DK. Who, what, where, when and whY, and then do interviews. Okay, so okay. Okay, so what are our who questions, G? Okay, who has the party, who gets the invite, who knows and plans things, other people involved, okay. Okay, what about the what? What are we getting? Okay, what is the party, what is the purpose of the party? Is it just a party? That's a good question, or is it something more? Okay, let me underline that.
Who, what, where? Okay, where have the parties been, are there any patterns? That's a good question. Oh, where do they get their supplies from? Probably, Costco but who … Oh, can't assume. You're right. Oh boy, are you right. Okay, those are good questions. When? Looking for patterns. Again, where and when? When are patterns of the dates or the times? It seems like the time's pretty much always the time. Okay, we'll cover that. Okay.
You're right, I kind of want to do [seams 00:37:43]. Okay, why? Okay, why other than the obvious why? Fun, but why not just, like, invite only, or line only, or just have a party, right? Those are good why's. Yeah, why not just a private party? Okay, let's go do it. Let's start interviewing people. Okay.
Oh, hey Diane, we're back. We interviewed a bunch of people, and we've been stretching this case out, Diane. We've been working on other things too, because we don't know much. The interviews did not help. Again, it's a lot of conflicting information. It's hard to tell. Everybody is happy to talk about it, but when someone's telling you a mis-truth out of joy and fun it's really hard to nail down if they're … It's confusing, yeah, so we don't have a lot of useful information.
What we don't know, you're right. Thank you, G and DK. We don't know who runs the party. We don't even know if it's a club or not. We don't have a very clear mission of the party. Okay, we do know that the party has a lot of cheese and crackers. Those are some of the primary foods. Our cheese and meat alternative's there, so it is an open party. Like, meats, a lot of dietary things, but it does tend to be more snack foods. We know the music and the drinks are good, but nothing … Everything is good, but most people it is more driven by the experience than it's top shelf or anything.
Again, people are excited to be there. They do stress this positive attitude. There is this role play going into it, and there is this anticipation. There were people that were disappointed because their anticipation was expecting something different. Because most of the people here in the towns, if they're tried to go to the party, they probably got in at least once, or they say they don't go, and it's not their thing.
Okay, where? We kind of covered the where. It's temporary spaces. Unique, not places you'd normally rent. All this stuff I kind of talked about. Oh, they use a trolley system. Also, they have, instead of Lyft here they have Tuber, or the town's version of that. It's a private company that owns this whole thing, and they like to make their markups and everything. You could get a Tuber in a golf cart or a car. It's like a Lyft.
Oh, the other unique thing about this Tuber is, this is the first time we were experiencing it. They have the trolley system, which is part of the Tuber trolley. It used to be just the trolley system. That's one way. It's kind of like a bus. Yeah, but you could privately rent them, or Tuber it now. All of the Tubers, like, a car of a golf cart, you need to have a chaperone. Which makes sense here. You say, “Well, no-no. Then, it gives more people the conversation.
They say, “Well, there's one person to drive, and then there's one person to navigate. Then, there's one person to make sure you don't leave anything in the car.” That's the passenger who's in the front seat who's like the Tuber. It also stands for two in towns. We also have a Tuber case we're working on. We even put a map up here, and we don't see any patterns of the where. Like, it doesn't make a clear sign. It just seems to be vacant, you know?
When? All our interviews kind of led to this when. It's always a late lunch/early dinnertime, and Diane, again, this sounds like a trope but it's true, and it makes sense that a lot of the people in the towns, they eat twice a day. They eat a late breakfast/early lunch, and then a late lunch/early dinner.
I always thought that the idea of the early bird was a way for restaurants to get business in. Well, it's like, which cracked first, the early bird or the … You know, the bird or the early? A lot of people eat at that time, so I don't know if it … If demand drive the early bird dinners, or do early bird dinners drive people eating between 2:00 and 5:00 pm? You know, maybe they have a snack later.
That's when the party is, which also makes sense. I think it would be great to go to a party, and it's over by four. I mean, maybe even earlier. Three o'clock, you go home and take a nap, and then you can gave an evening, or just go home and then unwind for another hour and go to bed at six, seven o'clock. Usually, it starts, like… Invite's generally, the people start to realize things around 2:00 pm is the hot time of day. That doesn't really help us at all.
Okay, the how. It's really well-planned, Diane. It's not super-expensive, but as we said, but the food is one of the key pieces. I don't know, G and DK are, like, they have, just like the original popup shops, they really make it look … What are they spending money on? That's what we're trying to do with the how. The drinks are generally not high-end. The food is generally, we don't know what the food is. We just have these general … Oh, cheese, some little meat, you know, these. Oh, so good. “Oh, the spread,” people would say. Also, the how of getting an invite. We don't know that. We just don't know. I mean, we kind of went through what happens when you get the invite.
The why. This is a bit of a paradox. It's fun, but the biggest paradox is the whole why and how of the semi-exclusivity. I mean, we wrote down some ideas; crowd control, affordability for the food. When we tried to get down other than fun, like, why is it limited in this way. We're stuck, unless one of us gets an invite. This could be a long-term case, but it's a no pressure case. You know, we're waiting for when the next party is. We're just going to work other cases.
We have a healthy outlook at it now. Like, we don't have to solve one case at a time. We're working other cases. Wait, what's that? It just gave you two an idea, what's the idea? To catch a planny, party, planny parter? Party planner. Thanks, G. Plan a party. To catch a popup party planner, plan a popup party. Oh, wow. Well, we could do that over long term. Diane, I guess we've got our next move, so I'll be back when I find out more.
Okay. Hey, Diane, it's me. A little time's gone by since I last checked in with you, but we've been working this case, and we've been trying to learn how to have popup parties. Which has kind of been fun. I mean, more for G and DK, and I think it's helping G and DK in the self-derived education system.
The popup party planning business is not easy. It's a tough business to be in. Especially since it's not a business. We started small, which is like parties at Aunt Penny's house. Those weren't really popup parties. They were just parties. They had a cookie party, they had a make-your-own-pizza party. They had a bring-your-own-dessert party. I don't know. G and DK were just kind of watching things, and making note of everything that went into it. Then, they said, “This is a lot of work.”
They said, “maybe that's part of it. It generates its own interest, but again it to what purpose other than fun?” We also did, what was really fun was, like, popup behind the golf course refreshment parties. Where we would just show up on one of the holes of the many gold courses. The town has, like, 45 golf courses. All kinds. I don't know if I told you, Diane, none of us golf, though.
This was fun, for the most part. Some people are grouches, but we would pop up on a hole. Got permission. Aunt Penny took care of that, because we said it was like … They have refreshment. Anyway, we pop up with lemonade, refreshments. Well, there's things called water ice, or snow ice. Snowcones. That's what it is, Diane. We gave those to the golfers.
Then, over time we moved on to popup dance parties. Those didn't really hit. We worked with a magician, we did a popup magic show. Popup book readings, popup book loans, and none of it really took off. None of us, like other than the people we invited that we knew, why the people said, “What are you doing?” Yeah, we couldn't get the word-of-mouth thing.
Then, we started, I said, “Well, what about the food? Let's go back to our first thing.” We quickly realized that between the two of them, Aunt Penny and me, which I'm not very useful in some of this stuff, the food's not sustainable. We don't have a food budget. A thing like lemonade, or even the snowcones is something we can make work. To have these parties, even not a big party, you know, it's either time or money investment, Diane.
Any attention we got wasn't sustainable. You know, because, he said, “Well, she's gone now. The party's over.” We tried to go back to the drawing board, and we say, “Okay, food or drink is causing us trouble. What else is driving the parties? Maybe it's someone that can afford to do this. Maybe they're pooling their money.” I mean, G and DK even did it.
Then we said, “Well, what if we had a food budget?” Soon, we started planning imaginary, bigger parties. That's what G and DK are working on right now while I'm talking. Then, since we've had time, and as they've been doing that we've kind of percolated. It turns out you have to be an adult to go. You have to be a resident to go to the party, so there were two parties. I mean, that's just the rules here.
G and DK couldn't go. We did get in line. Yeah, I did go into the parties, but I don't know, it didn't really … Like, I think I just kind of described it, so we have had two parties that we weren't able to predict. Our client said, “Well, you're learning. Okay.” Then, we tried to go back. Right now, we're looking at this idea of, like, they call it viral now, or popular. They used to call it a fad.
Right now, I said, “Wait a second. What if we had fad parties, G and DK?” Okay, what's a fad? It's the same thing, okay? Like, fads from my time. Fisher Price, Little People. That was a toy. Magic 8 Ball, Slinky, Matchbox Cars. You've heard of some of those, okay. Well, maybe moving towards your age, like, if you master …
Remember? Oh, that's been in a movie. Silly Putty, Weebles; Weebles wobble but they don't fall down? No, you don't remember that? Rubix Cube you've heard of, though. Right, the puzzle thing. Atari, or Nintendo, or Sega? Yeah, okay, you've heard of that. Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids, Furby. Have you heard of Furby? No, that was before you two too. What about High School Musical? That was a fad, right?
Tomagotchi? Was that before … Oh, wait. Zhu Zhu, Zhu Zhu Pets. What about that? Okay, you've heard of that. Yeah, and then that Rainbow Loom. Exactly. Could we do … Okay, Diane. We'll be back.
Okay, Diane. We're back. We had a few fad parties, and it was a lot of work too. The good thing was, once I started showing G and DK pictures of things they realized, because part of their business is helping people clean out their garage. We had a few test ones, but then G and DK had these giant garbage bags full of Pogs, which was a thing. P-O-G-S, Diane.
In the '90s, I think it was a game, but it was collectible cardboard discs. Very similar to the things you put on the back of your phone. It disappeared in the history, Diane, but just the round part. Yeah, whatever those are called. [Smootchers 00:52:27], or whatever. The Pog party was a hit, and it actually cracked … The Pogs, we had all these bags of Pogs, so we had a Pog sorting party where if you helped you could keep 30 Pogs of any kind. Not that many people showed up, but the people that did show up, they were into Pogs. Holy cow. They said, “Could we invite more people?”
Then, we had one guest as a second party. This was when we built up to 30. First, we said five, because they said, “You know, these Knight Rider Pogs are very sought after by Pog lovers, and David Hasselhoff lovers.” I said, “Well, I don't know.” So, Hillary came, and Hillary was asking a lot of questions during this Pog party. Then, we did have lemonade, and things we baked, but not a large-scale party.
G and DK say I'm not doing a good job of describing. Pog is like a round paper coin, Diane, with a picture on one side and usually a logo, or a pattern on the other side. The picture can be anything from marketing a product or something famous, to a drawing. A lot of licensed stuff, so a lot of version and choices. Just interesting things to look at that kids might want to collect. Like Mario or something, or Zelda and Link. Thank you, thank you.
Where was I, Diane? The Pogs, okay, so Hillary was there and Hillary just seemed very enthusiastic, and very interested. Then, like a friend, I guess, but a really curious, inquisitive friend. As we were talking to Hillary, and Hillary's asking, “Oh, so you have other pad parties? I kind of heard about those. Oh, so you make all the food? What would you do if more people showed up?”
I said, “Well, we'd probably have to give out less Pogs, maybe not have any food or drink.” Hillary said, “Then, less few would show up, huh?” We said, “Yeah, yeah. We figured out that some people would come if they could keep the Pogs, but it's kind of like work and it's less of a party.” Though, we did all play Pogs. There's a game where you flick the Pogs. A bit like marbles, Diane. I don't know if you know marbles, as though.
A bit like a game where you flick the Pog, and then you can win the other … I don't know. I didn't pay attention, Diane, to the rules. Sorry, G. Sorry, DK. Yeah, so everybody played Pogs too. It was fun. We said yeah, and then G and DK kind of brought up the party. Basically, then Hillary started telling us a story in the broadest of terms, but the most direct way.
Hillary said, “It just seems like your party's just missing one thing from being like the party you're talking about.” Hillary told us a long story, which I'll just try to get, like, a … Once upon a time there was a … Like, there's the towns, and there's the idea of free samples, and free food, and that it was always this thing fraught. The party planning was always based on, “Geez, how much food could we have?”
Hillary said, “There was also, once upon a time, never an official club, but people that loved the shopping malls of the '70s and '80s. People that maybe their parents or their grandparents, or their friends who were mall walkers, which kind of took a while until it just …” I said, “This sounds familiar to me.” They said, “You know, the people that like to walk in the shopping mall, because it used to be the place to go.”
Then, we would sit around, and we would talk about it, and we'd talk about, “Wow, these plans, they're kind of like a shopping mall.” This was like an unofficial club. They go to the last few shopping malls, but it was a nostalgic experience. She said, “Well, it's not as good as it once was.” Then, they said they would go through, and then they started having little parties. Dinner parties with each course based on their favorite things at the mall. Say, well it's a book store. Well, this is a book cake or whatever.
Eventually, one of the things they always, the biggest hit at any one of these parties, because one of the things they always liked was this place called Hickory Farms, Diane. Which was a shopping mall that I think … Well, here's where we'll get to it. Still exists, where you could get samples. They sold cheese and crackers, like party foods. Everyone wondered how it stayed in business, because it's like, how many parties do people have? How much Summer sausage does someone need? It was also a catalog business.
One of the people, like, that had the party, bought all this Hickory Farms thing. Not only that, Diane, as they talked about Hickory Farms they realized how much they appreciated it, and it was still a corporation in such things. They said, “But, they weren't doing great. We want to save the Hickory Farms company.” Hickory Farms said, “Well, we don't know.” They said, “Well, we have an idea. Don't you know what kids do today? Instead, fads have been replaced by going viral.”
Hickory Farms said, “Oh, no. We don't change.” They said, “Well, the shopping malls are gone. How do you recreate the experience that caused you to somehow barely be in business in the '80s and the '70s?” They said, “Well, we don't know.” We said, “Well, we have a test. We'll run it through town. Alls you got to do is give us food, and we think you should become a subscription-based box business like the great dinner box businesses, or Sleep With My podcast, Green Chef.”
They said, “There's meat, but there's all sorts of box businesses now, and you pay a certain amount, and then you get a box every month.” They said, “We're going to take that box-based business. We're going to mix it with a party, like a Tupperware party, like a Hubba Hubba Hubba party, you know, that people have nowadays. We'll have these parties, the Hickory Hangout parties. We'll call ourselves the Hickory Hangout. At the end of the party, any of the invite … We'll invite guests and we'll have free gifts that are the ones we're teasing into it. You'll have a opportunity to become a subscriber to the Hickory Farms monthly box service. Then, you'll get it every month.”
The company said, “We're not interested,” so basically this group, Hillary said, “Once upon a time, in an imaginary land…” You know, I'm just using this company as an example. It's not actually the company we did it with. Though, she said, “We are called the Hickory Hangout.” She said, “We made our own subscription boxes.” You know, because we said, “We'll just do it locally, and then that'll be how we pay for the party. Then, we'll build our own boxes.”
If you subscribe, if you prepay, you prefer an annual subscription, you become a member of the Hickory Hangout. It's also a secret, fun club, and we could also give you … Hillary said, “Maybe it could be, you know, if you three could keep a secret,” and G and DK said, “Three.” Hillary said, “Well, Aunt Penny's listening in the other room.” They said, “Oh, well no. That's just, she sleeps with her eyes open sometimes.” Hillary said, “Great, us too.”
She said, “I can't invite you to a party, but maybe we could have our own little Hickory Hangout Pog party.” Yeah, so G and DK said, “Wait a second. This was like a faux viral marketing party based in a bath of nostalgia.” Hillary said, “Possibly, once upon a time it was.” G and DK said, “Well, you just got to roll with it. Guess who …” They said, “Well, could we just get an invite for our … Basically.” Hillary said, “Done. For these Hasselhoff Pogs it'll be worth it. Also, we'll have a Hickory Hangout Pog party for sure.”
I think they're going to, but the case actually was more thawed than cracked, Diane. Diane, if you ever need to catch a party planner, plan a party popup. You know, that, Diane. All right, thanks and goodnight.